Earlier this week, the Rockets and veteran point guard John Wall were discussing a plan for him to return to play — but should it not work out, they do not intend to explore the idea of contract buyout, per David Aldridge of The Athletic.
Wall has yet to play this season as the Rockets explore a trade while focusing on their youth movement and rebuild.
The sides seem to be at odds over Wall’s role should he return. He would prefer to start, while Houston wants to stay the course with its current backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. and rookie Jalen Green, per reports.
“Wall is owed over $44 million this season and over $47 million next year. That has made finding a trade almost impossible, but it has also scuttled buyout talks,” wrote Sam Quinn of CBS Sports. “… Wall, sensing that he might not have much earning power on the open market, might want to retain as much of the money guaranteed to him as possible.”
There doesn’t seem to be much of a trade market for Wall at the moment either, given the large deal mentioned by Quinn.
Wall, 31, appeared in 40 games last season, his first with the Rockets, averaging 20.6 points and 6.9 assists. Along the way, he proved to be a leader and a true professional in a losing situation.
Either way, coach Stephen Silas didn’t rule out Wall returning to the court when asked about the possibility by reporters on Monday.
“Right now is the ramp-up time. That’ll probably take a couple weeks. We’ll continue our conversations and try to determine what it looks like,” Silas said, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Silas then admitted that playing time is factoring into the talks.
“That’s part of the discussions we’re going to be having,” Silas said. “(Sunday) was discussion No. 1. That was very much centered around him getting to a place he can play in an NBA game. He’s in great shape.
“He is diligent as far as his work. He’s been positive and all that stuff. But as far as getting in game shape, our guys have had training camp and they’ve been practicing and they had games. He hasn’t had any of that. Right now, it’s about getting him to that point.”